X, formerly known as Twitter, has reinstated Kanye West after he was banned last December for tweeting an image of a swastika, The Wall Street Journal has reported. Elon Musk’s platform only made the move after being assured that West would not post antisemitic or other harmful content. In addition, ads won’t appear next to his posts and he won’t be able to monetize the account.
Kanye has had multiple run-ins with Twitter/X. In October, Elon Musk welcomed him back after he went two years without tweeting — but he stayed just a short time before being banned again for saying he would go “def con 3 on Jewish people.” Shortly after that Ye entered a deal to acquire the “free speech” social media app Parler, but that fell through soon after. West has paid a price for past comments, with major brands including Adidas and Gap cutting ties.
Shortly after acquiring Twitter last fall, Musk — who calls himself a “free-speech absolutist” — vowed to rethink permanent bans based on the site’s rules, unless laws were broken. Since then, he has restored the account of Donald Trump (who has not subsequently tweeted), along with other controversial personalities, including avowed neo-Nazis. Earlier this year Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that Musk was responsible for a rise of antisemitism on the site, adding that Twitter is now “filled with antisemitic conspiracies and hate speech targeting Jews all over the world.”
The news comes after Musk changed Twitter’s name and logo to X. He recently placed a strobing X sign on the roof of the company’s San Francisco headquarters. X subsequently told the city’s building inspectors that the sign was temporary for an event. Yesterday, Musk tweeted that X’s HQ would remain in “beautiful” San Francisco despite the city being in a “death spiral.”
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.